Oded Aharonson

Mission Scientist

Oded Aharonson received BS and MS degrees in Applied Physics from Cornell University, served in the Israeli Air Force, earned a PhD from MIT, and was a professor at Caltech for 10 years. Aharonson returned to the Weizmann Institute, where he leads the Center for Planetary Science. Aharonson participates in many spacecraft investigations including the Mars Rovers, and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Ian Garrick-Bethell


Ian Garrick-Bethell is an associate professor at UC Santa Cruz, interested in lunar geology and geophysics.  He uses spacecraft measurements of lunar magnetic fields to understand the Moon’s early thermal evolution, dynamo history, and space weathering processes.

Asaf Grosz


Asaf Grosz is an expert in research and development of sensors and low noise instrumentation, particularly in the detection of ultra-low magnetic fields. Grosz is leading the Sensing Technologies Laboratory (STL) in Ben-Gurion University where he is working on various systems with applications related to metrology, defense and medical devices. He leads the calibration, testing, and integration of the SpaceIL Magnetometer.

James W. Head III


James W. Head III a Professor of Planetary Geoscience at Brown University with experience in lunar exploration beginning with the Apollo Lunar Exploration Program, where he was involved with landing site selection, mission planning, Astronaut geologic and operations training, Apollo surface mission operations and post-mission data analysis.  He continues his research and study of geological processes operating on the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Earth and asteroids.

Christopher T. Russell


Christopher T. Russell is a Professor of Geophysics and Space Physics in the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Department of the University of California Los Angeles.  He has played a role in many space missions including Alouette, Orbiting Geophysical Observatories 1-6, International Sun-Earth Explorer 1,2, Apollo 15-16-Subsatellites, Pioneer Venus Orbiter, Galileo, Venera 13, 14, UK Subsatellite, VEGA 1,2,  Phobos,  International Solar Terrestrial Probes, Cassini, Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous; Venus Express, Dawn, Magnetospheric Multiscale, and InSight.  He has been awarded the American Geophysical Union’s Macelwane and Fleming medals as well as COSPAR’s Science Award.

David E. Smith


David E. Smith is a planetary geophysicist at MIT and is currently the PI of the LOLA instrument on LRO at the Moon. He was the Dep PI of the GRAIL mission to the Moon and the PI of the laser altimeters: MOLA at Mars, and MLA at Mercury on MESSENGER.  His research interests are in gravity, topography, and the dynamics of planets.

Benjamin P. Weiss


Benjamin P. Weiss is an Associate Professor of Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is interested in the formation, evolution, and history of the terrestrial planets and small bodies, with particular interest in planetary magnetism. He studies samples from extraterrestrial bodies including the Moon to understand the history of these planetary bodies.

Mark Wieczorek


Mark Wieczorek is a senior research scientist at the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur (Nice, France). Much of his scientific research has focused on using geophysical and remotely sensed geochemical data to decipher the interior structure and geologic evolution of the Moon, with an emphasis on planetary topography, gravity, and magnetic fields. He was a co-investigator of the orbiting SMART-1 and Chandrayaan-1 X-ray fluorescence spectrometers, and NASA’s lunar gravity mapping mission GRAIL. In addition to his work with the Moon, he is a co-investigator associated with NASA’s geophysical mission to Mars, Insight, the laser altimeters on ESA’s BepiColombo mission to Mercury and JUICE mission to Ganymede, and NASA’s upcoming mission to the asteroid Psyche.

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